Ashley Jones, a junior business major from Gilbert, Arizona, and her fiancé Dane Campbell, a senior exercise science major from Prescott, Arizona, are doing their best to wear masks while not social distancing. While some college students may feel less inclined to follow the safety guidelines, Callie Peacock, Booth Wellness Center registered nurse, said it’s the courteous and responsible thing to do as young adults. Photo by Kristi Shields.
It’s date night! You can’t forget flowers, chocolates and mints… but what about a mask, gloves and hand-sanitizer?
Dating amidst a global pandemic seems like a sketchy situation for some Dixie State University students, while others are looking for a good night out with their date, and coronavirus just happens to be the “party pooper.”
“I was never worried about dating someone new during the pandemic,” said Sydney Johnson, a senior business administration major from Spokane, Washington. “In fact, coronavirus actually gave me more time to date and start a relationship.”
Johnson said rather than staying home, she used her time to get out and go on fun dates, like going to the lake or on hikes. Since she was not able to work during the height of the pandemic, she wanted to get to know the guy she liked.
“When we first started dating, we did not abide by the 6-feet social distancing rule,” Johnson said. “Basically, he didn’t have any symptoms and I didn’t either, so we felt it was not necessary to take any extra precautions.”
Similarly, Rebekah Farris, a junior exercise science major from Kuna, Idaho, said she wasn’t nervous either about contracting the virus and continued to date like normal.
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“I didn’t follow any of the guidelines because I’m not really worried about getting sick,” Farris said. “I definitely did not ask my date if he had experienced any symptoms either. I think we both just focused on having a good time and trying to create an atmosphere that felt normal again.”
Farris said the only issue she faced while dating during the global pandemic was needing to plan for uncommon dates since many restaurants and public places were shut down.
“It was a struggle trying to figure out what to do, and we had to be a little more creative since the usual ‘let’s go get ice cream’ wasn’t an option,” Farris said.
Johnson said she is young and still looking to find some normalcy while getting through this tough time. Dating offers her the opportunity to stay social and connect with others.
“If I’m being honest, when I’m going on a date with a really cute girl, the first thing that goes through my head is how excited I am, not anything about coronavirus,” said Devin Chandler, a junior biology major from San Bernardino, California. “I don’t really want to let that fear get in the way of what I have going on in my life.”
“Yes, we are concerned about asymptomatic transmission of COVID, but I cannot imagine DSU students adhering to social distancing guidelines 100% of the time when they aren’t even using condoms 100% of the time.”Callie Peacock, Booth Wellness Center registered nurse
Chandler said he is unconcerned about the pandemic and when he went on a date this summer, the only health guideline he followed was to wear a mask only when it was necessary.
Callie Peacock, Booth Wellness Center registered nurse, said: “If we know one thing for sure, it’s that abstinence-only practices are not realistic. People need people and they’re going to seek out physical interactions.”
Peacock said it would be ideal if DSU students would comply with the pandemic guidelines while on dates, especially if a student is feeling sick. Staying at home and quarantining when feeling ill is the courteous and responsible thing to do as young adults.
“Yes, we are concerned about asymptomatic transmission of COVID, but I cannot imagine DSU students adhering to social distancing guidelines 100% of the time when they aren’t even using condoms 100% of the time,” Peacock said.
Miranda Ekblad, a junior business administration major from Fairfield, California, said she learned to ask her date if he has experienced any symptoms before going out and that other DSU students should not feel embarrassed to do the same.
“On my dates I did hug those I was going out with and sometimes even went in for a kiss,” Ekblad said. “Little did I know that I would learn my lesson the hard way because I went on a date with a guy who tested positive for COVID a couple of days later. I quarantined and got tested; thankfully it came out negative.”
Ekblad said this scary experience showed her that she needed to be more mindful before coming in contact with others during this time. Wearing masks, keeping your distance and all of the other health guidelines should be taken more seriously for your own protection.
“Hopefully, students will think twice before becoming a True Trailblazer and kissing strangers in the fountain on homecoming night,” Peacock said.
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